US embassy cable - 85ISLAMABAD8251 (original version)

PAKISTAN SEES SIGNS OF UPTURN IN IRAN-SOVIET - TIES (original version)

Identifier: 85ISLAMABAD8251
Wikileaks: View 85ISLAMABAD8251 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Islamabad
Created: 1985-04-23 09:33:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL IR PK SU
Redacted: This cable was redacted by Wikileaks. [Show redacted version] [Compare redacted and unredacted version]
R 230933Z APR 85
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7658
INFO AMEMBASSY ANKARA
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
AMEMBASSY KABUL
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ISLAMABAD 08251 
 
E.O. 12356:  DECL: OADR 
TAGS:  PREL, IR, PK, SU 
SUBJECT:  PAKISTAN SEES SIGNS OF UPTURN IN IRAN-SOVIET 
-         TIES 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT. 
- 
2.  SUMMARY:  FOREIGN SECRETARY NAIK SUMMARIZED HIS 
AMBASSADOR'S APPRAISAL OF UPTURN IN IRAN-SOVIET TIES. 
THE AMBASSADOR ASSERTS IRANIAN RATIONALE IS BASICALLY 
PRAGMATIC AND ASSERTS TREND WILL CONTINUE. 
END SUMMARY. 
 
3.  RESPONDING TO MY EARLIER REQUEST FOR GOP THINKING 
ON THE MEANING OF THE APRIL 5 VISIT TO MOSCOW OF IRANIAN 
DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER HOSSEIN ARDEBILI, THE FOREIGN 
SECRETARY APRIL 19 SUMMARIZED FOR POLCOUNSELOR AND ME A 
CABLE JUST RECEIVED.  WE SHOULD PROTECT THE SOURCE 
COMPLETELY. 
 
THE SIGNS OF AN UPTURN 
---------------------- 
4.  EARLY IN 1984, THE GOI HAD INDICATED ITS INTENTION 
TO TRY THE TUDEH PARTY LEADERS, SENT LOW LEVEL OFFICIALS 
TO THE SOVIET REVOLUTIONARY DAY CELEBRATIONS, AND 
LIMITED SOVIET DIPLOMATS' CONTACTS.  ALL THIS LEFT THE 
SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN TEHRAN VOICING GLOOMY AND NEGATIVE 
PROGNOSIS FOR RELATIONS. 
- 
5.  THE SOVIET PATIENCE NOW SEEMS TO BE BEARING FRUIT 
AS: 
 
-- THE IRANIANS POSTPONED THE TUDEH TRIALS (IN NOVEMBER); 
 
-- RAFSANJANI ATTENDED AND SPOKE PROFUSELY AT THE 10-DAY 
DAWN(SIC) CELEBRATION; AND 
 
-- THE IRANIAN PRESS HAS STARTED TO CAST THE SOVIETS IN 
A MORE FAVORABLE LIGHT. MOST RECENTLY A PROMINENT 
COLUMNIST QUESTIONED THE GOVERNMENT'S RATIONALE FOR NOT 
HAVING CONSULTED WITH THE SOVIETS DURING RECENT 
DIPLOMATIC DEMARCHES MADE WHEN THE WAR INTENSIFIED (WHY 
NOT INCLUDE THE NUMBER ONE SUPERPOWER--OUR STRONG 
NEIGHBOR?). 
- 
WHAT IRAN WANTS 
--------------- 
6.  IN CONTEXT OF AN INCREASINGLY COSTLY WAR, THE 
AMBASSADOR CONCLUDES IRAN SEEKS: 
 
-- TO EASE ITS ECONOMIC PROBLEMS, E.G., WITH POSSIBILITY 
OF GAS SALES TO THE SOVIETS; 
 
-- SECURE LINES OF COMMUNICATION--THERE APPEARS TO BE 
SOME UNCERTAINTY OVER THE TURKISH LOC; AND 
 
-- ESTABLISH ALTERNATIVE AIR ROUTES--THE IRAQI THREAT 
HAS CUT MOST OF IRAN AIR'S WESTWARD SERVICE, AND THE 
SOVIETS HAVE OFFERED A NEW ROUTE TO FRANKFURT VIA 
MOSCOW. 
 
7.  THE PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR SEES A NUMBER OF TANGIBLE 
INDICATORS ALREADY REFLECTING BENEFITS OF INCREASED 
ECONOMIC COOPERATION: 
 
-- THE SOVIETS ARE HELPING BUILD POWER GENERATORS, 
AND SEEKING TO EXPAND THIS AREA OF COOPERATION. 
 
-- TWO-WAY TRADE IN 1985 SHOULD EXCEED $2 BILLION. 
 
-- A JOINT MINISTERIAL MEETING WILL BE HELD IN MAY-JUNE, 
AND EXPERTS WILL MEET IN MOSCOW IN MAY TO LOOK AT OTHER 
STEPS FOR ENHANCING ECONOMIC RELATIONS. 
- 
ARDEBILI VISIT 
-------------- 
8.  PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR SURMISES THE SOVIETS WILL 
HAVE REITERATED OPPOSITION TO THE WAR'S CONTINUATION. 
HE BELIEVES THE IRANIAN SIDE LIKELY ONLY LISTENED.  THE 
IRANIANS WOULD HAVE RAISED QUESTIONS ABOUT SOVIET ARMS 
SUPPLIES TO IRAQ--WHETHER SOVIETS TAKE NOTE WILL 
PROBABLY DEPEND ON SOVIET PERCEPTIONS OF IRAN'S POST-WAR 
INTENTIONS.  THE SOVIETS WOULD BE RELUCTANT TO SEE IRAN 
TOO STRONG. 
 
9.  THE PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR SEES THESE CURRENT MOVES 
AS A MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE.  IRAN FEELS INCREASINGLY 
ISOLATED.  ITS REMAINING ARAB SUPPORTERS, E.G., SYRIA 
AND LIBYA, ARE SOVIET FRIENDS.  AMBASSADOR ASSERTS MANY 
IRANIANS WOULD PREFER BETTER RELATIONS WITH THE U.S., 
BUT THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTIONARY TIDE IS STILL FLOWING TOO 
STRONG, THE U.S. IS NOT READY FOR SUCH MOVES, AND IN ANY 
CASE IS TOO DISTANT.  RUSSIA ON THE OTHER HAND IS A 
POWERFUL NEIGHBOR WHICH CAN DO IMMEDIATE GOOD OR EVIL. 
- 
10.  NAIK, EXTENDING THE POINT MADE ABOUT THE U.S., 
NOTED THAT THE IRANIAN DELEGATION AT THE RECENT 
ECONOMIC COOPERATION ORGANIZATION (ECO) COMMITTEE 
MEETINGS HAD EXPANDED THE CONSENSUS TO GET TECHNICAL 
COOPERATION (IF NECESSARY) FROM "WESTERN INDUSTRIALIZED 
COUNTRIES."  PAKISTAN AND TURKEY HAD INITIALLY PROMOTED 
THE IDEA OF "REST OF THE WORLD" OUT OF CONCERN THAT 
IRAN WOULD BALK AT A GROUPING THAT INCLUDED THE U.S.-- 
INSTEAD THE IRANIANS EXPLICITLY EXPRESSED PREFERENCE 
FOR THE WESTERN COUNTRIES FORMULATION. 
 
11.  COMMENT:  NO DOUBT THE GOP IS WATCHING THESE 
DEVELOPMENTS WITH CONSIDERABLE CONCERN.  THEY UNDERSTAND 
OUR CONCERNS ABOUT IRANIAN STATE TERRORISM BUT WOULD 
WELCOME U.S. MOVES TO EASE IRAN'S ISOLATION.  SHORT OF 
THAT THEY HOPE WE SHOW UNDERSTANDING AND PATIENCE AS 
THEY WORK TO HELP KEEP IRAN FROM FALLING UNDER 
SUBSTANTIAL SOVIET SWAY WITH ALL THAT WOULD MEAN FOR 
PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN.  CERTAINLY THE LONG-TERM 
RISKS FOR OUR INTERESTS DEMAND WE TAKE SUCH AN 
ATTITUDE. 
 
HINTON 

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